Grand Cayman east side dive operators

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tkaelin

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Thanks for your help. The trip is in 6 weeks and was a gift (from someone who doesn't know about diving). I did look through several GC threads but didn't see the specific answers I was looking for. Have a happy New Year.
Ok. Makes sense. So there are two ops in your area and the diving can be great where you will be so no need to head to the west side for your daily diving. The east side is more quiet and less developed than the west and has a different vibe. I prefer it.

If a kitchen and cooking is in your plans maybe pick up food at a large fosters market before you head out to the east end. There is a small fosters near where you are staying but not as well stocked. Some nice restaurants as well. Tukkas is worth a visit our two.

An afternoon at Rum Point is also worth a visit. We try to time it when there are no cruise ships in port or when any cruise ship visitors would have left for the day. Visiting Rum Point is a completely different experience depending on whether it is busy or quiet.

Enjoy your trip.
 

KathyV

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There’s a comedy show in the Morritts as well. Tuesday night if I remember. Not for the faint of heart.

I looked into that show at Morritts while we were on GC recently and it didn't appeal to me so we skipped it. The Barefoot man can is funny but he doesn't go too far IMO.
 

KathyV

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Thanks for your help. The trip is in 6 weeks and was a gift (from someone who doesn't know about diving). I did look through several GC threads but didn't see the specific answers I was looking for. Have a happy New Year.

Nice gift! There is a large Fosters supermarket by the airport but it is often very crowded, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. There's a very nice Hurley's Market and a big Kirk's Market in Savannah on the way to the East End and we usually stop at one of them for supplies.

Most stores are closed on Sundays, so if you arrive on Saturday you should pick up at least a few things - especially since there isn't much shopping on the East End on any day of the week, but there is that small market across from Morritts and Wyndham. There are also some small convenience stores and gas station stores that stay open on Sundays, including the Rubis Gas Station in Bodden Town and the Chisholm’s Market on the North Side.

Liquor usually isn't sold in food markets but will be available in separate liquor stores - most of them are also closed on Sundays - and alcohol is quite expensive in Cayman. If you enjoy a few drinks while on vacation then you may want to pick up some alcohol at the duty-free shop in the airport - at your last stop before leaving the US. Each adult passenger may bring up to 1 liter of potable spirits, or 4 liters of wine, or 1 case (not exceeding 9 liters) of beer. If you are smokers then there are duty-free limits on cigarettes and tobacco too.

You will need a rental car since you are staying on the East End. You can ask the hotel to make the arrangements or do it yourself. Depending on the time of day when you arrive, after you get your baggage and clear customs and immigration and pick up the rental car, you might want to enjoy a nice meal before heading toward the East End and making a grocery stop on the way. We usually go to the George Town Yacht Club which is only about 3 minutes from the airport. It's on the water in a lovely setting and the food is very good.

You will pass some eateries on the way to the Wyndham, some fast food places like Domino's and Wendy's but there are also some fun and tasty roadside local places in Bodden Town - just beyond Savannah - including Rankin's Jerk Centre, Grape Tree Café Fish Fry, and the Czech Inn.

And there are a few sit down places to eat on the East End and Northside including The Lighthouse, Tukka, and Kaibo Restaurant and Kaibo Upstairs, see the links below. You won't starve on Grand Cayman and there is no need to drive to George Town, Seven Mile Beach, or West Bay - unless you'd like to enjoy the amenities in those areas. Check the cruise ship schedules before heading toward the popular tourist areas to avoid the crowds.

I know that the Wyndham has an all-inclusive food offering but we have never tried it. We have eaten their dinner/show menu when we have gone to see the Barefoot Man perform and it's fine but nothing special. It reminds me of wedding reception food. I don't know if their all-inclusive offerings are the same but I would probably skip them - unless the food plan was included with your gift trip?

Make sure your credit card doesn't include foreign transaction fees and that it offers some rental car insurance. Our card covers damage but not liability.

Download google maps on your phone before you leave the US to aid with navigation without using your cellular data. We usually bring a Garmin GPS and a car charger with us and find it very helpful. The driving is easy and straight-forward and there is little traffic when you get to the East End and Northside, but there are a number of roundabouts to negotiate between the airport and Savannah, so we find the GPS useful.

Have a great trip!

https://www.gtyachtclub.com/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g664458-d1046153-Reviews-Rankin_s_Jerk_Pit-Bodden_Town_Grand_Cayman_Cayman_Islands.html

http://www.grapetreecafe.ky/

http://czechinngrill.com/

https://www.lighthouse.ky/

https://www.tukka.ky/

https://www.kaibo.ky/
 

Chanly83

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I agree with @KathyV everyone in your group that can buy alcohol should do so at the duty free. Your wallet will thank you later!
 

Doctorfish

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From personal experience I would recommend taking out the full insurance package on a rental car in Cayman, rather than relying on your credit card for reimbursement. Being able to just walk away at the end of a rental is IMO worth the price. I have had my rental cars dented in parking lots in GC several times and had hubcaps stolen in Georgetown a few weeks ago. Others may argue the insurance issue. Also, remember that you will be driving on the "wrong" side of the road and that there is a significant impaired driver problem on the island every weekend. Just scan the Cayman Compass for info.

+1 for Ocean Frontiers. Great dive op. East End is arguably the best diving on the island so you are on the correct end of the island for a quality dive holiday.
 

Gurth

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We just returned from GC on 1/12 and we used Ocean Frontiers and they were fantastic. We had 13 divers in our extended party of 21 people and everyone was very pleased.

Winds were up too much out of the NE by midweek and they moved the boats to the west end and accommodated us over there for the remainder of our dives.

They took care of us and I would use them again without a thought unless I wanted to dive exclusively on the west end for some reason as they normally don't go there other than the wreck dives.

Food - Tukka has the most amazing rum collection that I've seen and I'm difficult to impress with rum as I have a solid collection myself and have tried many many of the other good ones under $100 a pour. The food was good if not great.

One of the best meals we had on the island was at a food cart called Island Bites right near where Frank Sound Road and North Side Road meet. The jerk chicken tacos were to die for and the price was right. This is a must stop imo.

Also ate at the Lobster Pot (tarpon feeding), Kaibo Beach Restaurant and Kaibo Yacht Club (Wahoo appetizer prepared rare for the win!) by Rum Point and the place right at the Ocean Frontiers. All were good to great.

Ate at a few other places too but not memorable enough to mention.

Stayed up near Rum Point at a rental house on the beach. I agree that the vibe on East end and along the north shore is far preferable to George Town and 7 mile.

Have fun!
 

tkaelin

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++ Tukkas.
 

howswedeofme

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We used OF last week, as well. Very large boats that can be packed with people, but they have an orderly system for getting in the water and even when at capacity, it isn't crowded. They split larger groups into two so we didn't have 15 people following one guide. Great swim-throughs out that way, too. Weather wasn't great on the day we went out with them (the next day they moved boats to the west end to keep diving) but they still found sheltered sites for us and we saw a few sharks, which is why we make the trek out to the east end even though we always stay in West Bay. We like the diving around the Northwest Point area a lot but I agree that the east end diving is consistently better than the diving off SMB. You're going to love it. If they're doing a Wednesday 3-tank, they go to sites outside of the normal 50-something they typically do, which is pretty cool, too.

OF may also pick up at the Wyndham if you don't want to drive yourself back and forth but they have plenty of parking there if you'd rather drive. We also liked the food Eagle Rays. I liked the lion fish tacos and lobster spring rolls in particular. We will have to do Tukka's next time, though!
 
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